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One of the things our family enjoy doing in the school holidays is to pack our bags and get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. These holidays we booked to go to our favourite spot, Hluhluwe. For me personally it’s the place where I feel far removed from everything and where I encounter God in His Creation. As I was sitting outside of our bush hut, sipping tea, watching a herd of Nyala grazing peacefully nearby, I said out loud to myself, “This is what Heaven is like.”
I found it a little ironic then when just two days later Clifton said the very same words to me but in a very different setting. I had just arrived at the Holiday Bible Club as a volunteer when Clifton stretched out his arms and pointed in the direction of all the energetic children running around and said, “This is what Heaven is like.”
Over 300 children attended that week and it was a thrilling yet exhausting few days spent with very excited children from our community who were all just so full of life.
Afterwards I reflected on this experience and was reminded that God’s presence isn’t only felt when I am far removed from reality, deep in the bush somewhere. But that His kingdom is about relationships and people where work is required from me and it’s there that His Spirit is even more at work. I experienced what Heaven is like in that place of busyness, where we worshipped and worked together as God’s family, building on relationships, learning about Him, feeling His presence. I experienced more joy and peace right there in the middle of 300 noisy children praising God than I did on my own watching the peaceful Nyala.
A big thank you to both Clifton and Jen Skewis, for giving up their time and representing UMC at the Holiday Bible Club this year. Thank you for sharing a piece of Heaven with me these holidays.